Have you been keeping up with MTV's newest series, "Valemont," every Tuesday? You're forgiven if you haven't — you could've mistaken it for a Verizon Wireless commercial, since the phone company teamed up with MTV for the project and each two and a half minute episode begins with a video, voicemail, or text message — as long as you start watching the addicting show immediately. The already-aired eight episodes are online so you can catch up for the two episodes that will air next week, one before "The Hills" and one after "The City."
For the unfamiliar, "Valemont" is about Sophie (Kristin Hager, pictured), an 18-year-old girl who decides to investigate her older brother Eric's (Eric Balfour) mysterious death. "He's really all she has in life, so she decides to go incognito and take on a new identity and go to this prestigious university, which is the last place he was seen alive," Kristin told Hollywood Crush.
It might seem from the outside that Valemont University is just another exclusive private college, but, as Kristin said, "Something is very off at this school. A lot of unexplainable things have happened and [Sophie's] having terrible nightmares. The people here are not your average everyday people that you run into in the grocery store." A lot of that spookiness comes from the Panthera house, one of the four houses that act as Valemont's own version of a Greek system, which Sophie discovers by following the clues left in messages on her brother's phone.
So far, Sophie was caught breaking into the Panthera house (pictured above) and mysteriously woke up in her underwear outside afterward (some sort of weird hazing ritual?), began hallucinating and having weird nightmares about creepy things, discovered that there used to be a fifth house called Desmodus, was hit on by a Panthera named Sebastian (played by Dillon Casey ... and uh, why are rich "frat guys" always named that?), and met Gabriel, a guy who'd been helping Eric investigate the school. Last night, in the first episode we found out that Beatrice (Jessica Parker Kennedy, pictured below with Dillon), Sebastian's girlfriend, had some sort of relationship with Eric, and in the second, Gabriel offered to help Sophie with "staying alive," and Sophie had a creepy hallucination in the laundry room.
Though the episodes are short, the interactive material online makes up for it by being incredibly thorough. Valemont has its own website, each character has a Twitter, and Sophie's roommate Poppy (played by Nikki Blonsky) has a blog. Kristin said she's a tad disappointed that she wasn't asked to tweet for Sophie. "No one even approached me about it, which is funny because I would be willing to do that in character."
It would probably not be too much of a stretch for Kristin to embody Sophie again, because the character stuck with her long after the "Valemont" shoot ended. "It was really this fast-paced, moving quick, very intense stuff. It was a whirlwind. I had a very difficult time afterward getting [Sophie] out of my skin. For the next month, I was dreaming in character. It was so weird. I never have that. I think it's because it was such an intense filming process."
The short episodes are nice because they're easy to take in all at once, but Kristin said there's hope for those of us who want more — "Valemont" is being re-edited into a longer, TV movie-length show that will hopefully air at some point (there are no official plans yet). In the meantime, stay tuned: Kristin said something huge will happen in the next few weeks. "I think that people will be very surprised by this show, that's all I'm going to say. There's a real twist somewhere in the mix."